The May issue of The Joint Commission Perspectives includes another in the continuing series of articles entitled “Clarifications and Expectations.” This month they discuss LS.02.01.20 on egress. This article includes draft language which is subject to further refinement to align TJC standards with the CMS K-tags. The article is good for both quality professionals and facilities leaders to understand current requirements perhaps in greater detail. In addition, it is useful for facilities leaders to understand additional details likely to be added later this year to correspond to CMS requirements. The first part of the article discusses egress doors and they identify delayed egress, access controlled egress, and a new feature – elevator lobby access door locking. The local discussion should include; do we have them, where are they, and are we compliant? Pay particular attention to the changes posed by the 2012 Life Safety Code with respect to these doors. They next discuss locking of patient sleeping rooms, the limited situations where this is appropriate and the requirement for all staff on the unit to have the key to unlock these doors. They also discuss single leaf horizontal sliding doors and the multiple NFPA requirements which must be in place if you are going to use these.
There is also a new requirement for stair signage indicating the story, the stairwell, up and down and the direction to exit. This signage is required in existing buildings that are five or more stories and in new construction of three stories or more. In addition, the floor level part of the sign must be tactile. Previously, it was thought only the exit discharge information had to be tactile. Lastly, they discuss exit passageways to a “level-walking surface.” Be sure to share this article in its entirety with your facilities leadership and request feedback about your existing compliance or need for renovations.